A Drinking Life: A Memoir

Front Cover
Little, Brown, Dec 14, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 280 pages
11 Reviews
As a child during the Depression and World War II, Pete Hamill learned early that drinking was an essential part of being a man, inseparable from the rituals of celebration, mourning, friendship, romance, and religion. Only later did he discover its ability to destroy any writer's most valuable tools: clarity, consciousness, memory. In A Drinking Life, Hamill explains how alcohol slowly became a part of his life, and how he ultimately left it behind. Along the way, he summons the mood of an America that is gone forever, with the bittersweet fondness of a lifelong New Yorker.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ritaer - LibraryThing

A moving memoir of a life that came close to being destroyed by drinking, not the drinking of merely an anguished individual but of a class and a race, the working Irish of New York. Hard work and occasional heartbreak made bearable by the camaraderie of the bars and parties. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookczuk - LibraryThing

Pete Hamill has been one of my favorite authors and writers for a long time. This book covers ground and was published entirely before he entered my awareness. The story of his boyhood in Brooklyn, in ... Read full review


Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Chapter 1

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Pete Hamill is a novelist, journalist, editor, and screenwriter. His books include the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life and the bestselling novels Snow in August, Forever, and North River. His new novel, Tabloid City, will be published in May 2011.

Bibliographic information